Tracking and tracing concerns a process of determining the current and past locations (and other relevant information) of a unique item or property. It is a very widespread notion in distribution and logistics of many types of products. Therefore it could be also used to geopositioning vehicles or mobile elements in different environments indoors and outdoors(i.e. containers in a ship or a train, trucks on the road, forklifts in factories, shopping carts in supermarkets or shooping areas, wheelchairs in hospitals).
More recent application of tracking and tracing is its use to geolocate people by means of mobile devices and location-based services (LBS).
Tracking and tracing technologies are becoming more and more important especially in sectors with high legal requirements and restrictions (pharmaceutical or food industries) or in transactions of high value goods, due to they enable tracking all the relevant movements. In addition, these technologies play an important role in the logistics processes automation and optimization throughout the entire supply chain.
Tracking and tracing solutions ensure greater transparency in the transport cycle. With the support of innovative elements (i.e.barcodes, RFID tags or NFC chips) and devices (barcodes readers, RFID or NFC antennas, GPS modules) all the stakeholders involved in a supply chain receive the accurate and up to date information about where their vehicles, containers, packaging and goods are at any particular moment.
These technologies can be also be applied to other non commercial domains. Social and health environments, for example, are very useful to track and trace patients, people with disabilities or elder people.
Our expertise covers the development and application of geo-locating technologies (RSSI, TOF, GPS, GIS), wireless communications and digital image processing techniques to identify and geolocate goods, vehicles and people in outdoor and indoor environments.
ITA has developed a myriad of tracking systems, from ‘lag time’ indicators, in which data are collected after an item passes a point (bar code or check point) to ‘real-time’ systems or (near real-time, depending on the refresh rate) using Global Positioning Systems.
We also have at your disposal facilities and infrastructures (Public Demo Center) for developing tailor-made prototypes, assessing different technologies, conduction studies to determine the coverage, validating thorough integration with corporate systems (back-end, front-end, mobile applications) using standard protocols and formats (i.e. GS1).
Who can benefit form our experience?
Different stakeholders can benefit from our experience and resources:
- End users for indoors or outdoors environments interested in assessing and validating different technologies, equipment and devices and market solutions.
- Tracking and tracing systems developers who wants to develop innovative solutions.
- Supply chain partners (manufacturers, transporters, wholesalers, retailers, end clients) who want to integrate a common and cooperative tracking and tracing solution in their supply chain flows.
- Equipment and system manufacturers, communication providers and system integrators.